How often do you check your children’s school bag and find a pile of party invitations? Although it isn’t always the best fun squeezed into the corner of a soft play, making awkward small talk with other parents and drinking substandard coffee, at least it isn’t your turn to splash out on the event. A children’s party can be expensive.
New research shows that parents of kids aged between five and 12 spend the best part of £300 when hosting a kids’ party, with the average cost coming to £298. A quarter (25%) admit to spending more than they would like and just over a third (36%) say that they use savings to pay for the event. A further 26% will put it on the credit card.
So, it’s fairly obvious we need to do something to cut the cost, and these children’s party money saving tips will help.
Save money on a children’s party
Think differently about balloons
Balloon arches are all the rage at kids’ parties, but ready made versions are pricey. However, you can buy balloon arch kits online, and that can work out significantly less expensive than buying ready-made versions.
Also, take a look on Facebook Marketplace. You might find one that someone has used for a recent party and which is still in great condition. This is a way to get a bargain.
Share your child’s birthday party with a school friend who has a birthday in the same week or fortnight. That way you can have a small family party on the day of their actual birthday and share costs and organisation stress with the birthday buddy’s family.
We all fancy ourselves as the recipient of the Hollywood handshake, right? Channel your inner Bake Off contestant and make your own cake rather than buying one. It can work out a lot less expensive and you get the personal touch too.
If you’re really not that handy in the kitchen, you can buy a ready-made cake mix in a supermarket. Get the kids involved in the baking process and make it fun.
Choose the time carefully
If you host a party between 2pm and 5pm, for example, it’s unlikely that guests will expect a full lunch or dinner. This means you can cut the catering budget for the children’s party. Instead, provide a few snacks to keep the party going and to keep the energy levels up.
Best pre-warn other parents of your plan though. No one wants twenty hungry kids on their case.
Pick a low-budget location
If you’re worried about paying for an expensive play centre or exclusive venue, try to consider alternatives, such as a back garden, local park or even the beach. If your child was born in the in the winter months, try the village hall, community centre or even local library.
They won’t cost the earth and you can use homemade decorations to personalise the venue.
Embrace your inner DJ
If you’re looking to save money on entertainment, try using a speaker and your phone. You can create a variety of fun games such as musical chairs, musical statues, pass the parcel, stuck in the mud and more.
Create a playlist of your children’s favourite tunes or look out for kid-friendly playlists online, if you’re lacking inspiration.
Go digital with invites
There’s no need to pay for fancy paper invites or spend too much time on writing notes to parents. You could use free tools online to get templates and fill them out with the details. No one keeps another child’s invite after the event and, in fact, having the directions and times on their phones is probably more helpful anyway.